Willians Astudillo and another Twins player tested positive for the coronavirus upon arrival in Minnesota for the start of training camp, President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said Friday. In addition, he identified minor leaguers Nick Gordon and Edwar Colina as players whom he said earlier this week had tested positive while at their homes, separate from Major League Baseball’s testing process.
All four players were missing on the first day of workouts at Target Field.
Astudillo is asymptomatic, Falvey said, and will quarantine for the next several days until he can pass two consecutive COVID-19 tests, with the first one probably taking place on Sunday. Falvey declined to identify the other player who tested positive, but his test also occurred upon arrival in Minneapolis.
A couple of players also reported having been in the proximity of an infected person, and though they subsequently tested negative, they are being held out for the first day or two of camp as a precaution, Falvey said.
In addition to those in quarantine, Byron Buxton and Cody Stashak have been excused from the first couple of days of workouts to be with their wives for the birth of children. Stashak’s wife, Taylor, gave birth in the past couple of days, and Buxton’s wife, Lindsey, gave birth to a son Friday. Both players will rejoin the team soon, Falvey said.
Colina, a Venezuelan righthander who reached Class AAA last season, has already tested negative once, and could join the team by early next week once he is cleared. Colina was infected while living at the team’s Fort Myers minor league academy, where he stayed during the virus-caused delay to the season.
Gordon, an infielder and former first-round draft pick, is also quarantined at home in Florida.
Seven other Twins minor league players not on the training camp roster have also tested positive in the past couple of weeks, the team said, most of them also in Fort Myers. The Twins’ spring headquarters, like all 30 major league training camp sites, were closed for a few days last week for extensive cleaning and decontamination.
Major League Baseball announced 38 positive tests across 19 teams throughout the league Friday, out of 3,185 total samples. Of those, 31 are players and seven are staff members. Not all teams had completed their testing.
The 1.2% infection rate league wide is a good sign, Falvey said. “I’m really happy to hear that a lot of players and staff, wherever they were over the last few months, were able to keep themselves in a really healthy and safe place,” he said. “I hope that’s a reflection of our players and staff all taking this very seriously. … Hopefully that will give us a chance, now that we’ve gotten back together, to continue to follow those protocols and keep those rates relatively low.”
One for show
The Twins have seen their 60-game schedule, Falvey said, and expect it to be released within a few days. They also have made progress on scheduling a 61st game, albeit one that won’t count.
“We are working through the potential for at least one exhibition game toward the end of camp,” said Falvey, hinting that the most likely opponent will be their Opening Day foe. “We can have up to three, but we want to make sure that we have this aligned well.”
• Kenta Maeda’s unusual contract, which includes only a $3 million base salary (prorated to $1.1 million for a 60-game season) but can more than quadruple based on the number of starts he makes and innings he pitches, is still being examined by MLB and the player’s union, Falvey said, to determine whether the targets, the bonuses or both will be prorated. “I hope so,” Maeda, who has earned as much as $11.9 million in a season over the contract’s first four years, said of the possibility of adjusting the deal for this unusual season. “That’s what I assume.”
• After watching Rich Hill, who had offseason elbow surgery, throw a bullpen session, manager Rocco Baldelli said he was impressed by the lefthander’s ability to stick to a rehab plan during the pandemic, adding, “I would not be surprised if he is fully healthy and ready to go by the start of the season.”